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Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Defensive Linemen Rankings 2018

Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald

J.J. Watt

For those fantasy football leagues that include Individual Defensive Players (IDPs), the position that can sometimes get overlooked is defensive linemen. Known for being pass rushers, the key when it comes to filling out your DL spot is finding a guy that can impact multiple categories or one that can at least get to the quarterback consistently.

Consider that among the top 10 fantasy defensive linemen in 2017, six of them also were among the league leaders in sacks -- Calais Campbell, Cameron Jordan, Chandler Jones (who may have had LB eligibility depending on the league), Joey Bosa, Demarcus Lawrence, and Yannick Ngakoue. That's without mentioning a trio of NFL Defensive Player of the Year honorees -- Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack and J.J. Watt.

Watt has had trouble staying healthy, but when he's on, he's arguably the No. 1 fantasy option. Mack's numbers dipped last season in comparison to his 2016 All-Pro campaign and then there's Donald, who may actually be underappreciated as a fantasy asset.

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Donald may not rack up the tackles like some of his peers but in 14 games last year he collected 11 sacks and forced five fumbles. He could be even more dangerous this season given the veteran star power the Los Angeles Rams added on defense.

So it should come as no surprise that those are the names that dominate the top of this year's DL rankings. Regardless of your preference, if you have championship aspirations in your IDP league, don't underestimate the value of drafting an elite DL

2018 Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K

2018 Defensive Linemen (DL) Rankings

Rk

Player

Team

Bye

1

Joey Bosa

LAC

8

2

Khalil Mack

OAK

7

3

J.J. Watt

HOU

10

4

Cameron Jordan

NO

6

5

Demarcus Lawrence

DAL

8

6

Chandler Jones

ARI

9

7

Melvin Ingram

LAC

8

8

Calais Campbell

JAC

9

9

Jason Pierre-Paul

TB

5

10

Everson Griffen

MIN

10

11

Aaron Donald

LAR

12

12

Myles Garrett

CLE

11

13

Muhammad Wilkerson

GB

7

14

Brandon Graham

PHI

9

15

DeForest Buckner

SF

11

16

Cameron Heyward

PIT

7

17

Danielle Hunter

MIN

10

18

Trey Flowers

NE

11

19

Akiem Hicks

CHI

5

20

Carlos Dunlap

CIN

9

21

Ziggy Ansah

DET

6

22

Yannick Ngakoue

JAC

9

23

Bruce Irvin

OAK

7

24

Mario Addison

CAR

4

25

Geno Atkins

CIN

9

26

Jurrell Casey

TEN

8

27

Damon Harrison

NYG

9

28

Frank Clark

SEA

7

29

Ndamukong Suh

LAR

12

30

Leonard Williams

NYJ

11

31

Cameron Wake

MIA

11

32

Kawann Short

CAR

4

33

Fletcher Cox

PHI

7

34

Jabaal Sheard

IND

9

35

Derek Barnett

PHI

7

36

Gerald McCoy

TB

5

37

Solomon Thomas

SF

11

38

Linval Joseph

MIN

10

39

Julius Peppers

CAR

4

40

Marcus Davenport

NO

6

41

Michael Bennett

PHI

7

42

Tak McKinley

ATL

8

43

Adrian Clayborn

NE

11

44

Stephon Tuitt

PIT

7

45

Chris Jones

KC

12

And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Athlon Sports’ 2018 Fantasy Football magazine, available for purchase online and at newsstands everywhere.

Athlon Sports 2018 Fantasy Football Magazine